In Oklahoma, Still, We Hurt
Today, April 19th, is a day forever remembered in the hearts of all Oklahomans. Today, we honored those who were killed, those who survived, and those changed forever by the Oklahoma City bombing. Today, in Oklahoma, it was the 26th Anniversary of the horrific act of domestic terrorism that stained our state and our nation forever. Every year on April 19th, we hurt.
But, today, on April 19th, 2021 — we hurt with fresh wounds.
I got a text from my friend at 4:34pm today — “SB 2 is up. It’s already so bad” they said. “Watching now. G** Dammit.” I texted back as my hands trembled. My heart sank into the pit of my stomach. I watched the next three hours as many Democrat House Representatives did their best to fight this horrific anti-trans bill. The bill is inappropriately titled the “Save Women’s Sports Act” — when we all know it’s a cruel attack on trans youth.
Sickened, disheartened, and shaking — I couldn’t peel my eyes away as our legislators passed a harmful, heartless, and downright hateful gender-based attack on the House floor. The count was 73–19 and a majority of the Republican debates included at least one reference from the Bible.
Women’s rights? Let’s talk about Women’s rights, then. Because any time positive legislation like say, equal pay, reproductive rights, etc. comes up in our Capitol building — none of these same Republican lawmakers are jumping up and down for Women’s rights.
And let’s just get this out there — Trans women are women, full stop.
[Also, this is obviously not an article on the details of SB2, but you can find out more about the harmful piece of legislation here: https://legiscan.com/OK/bill/SB2/2021]
If you grew up here, you’re no stranger to the politics of the gospel. Southern Christianity / religious theology informs most, if not all legislation popping up from Republican lawmakers. We’re spending hours telling trans kids where, how, and who they can play sports with — meanwhile, our state is facing some of the biggest problems in our history.
This includes, but is not limited to: massive unemployment, poverty, catastrophic incarceration, jail deaths every week, recovering from COVID, and attempting to heal after 100+ years of denying tribal sovereignty.
(Above problems cited from: Collen McCarty — Lawyer + Policy Council for Oklahomans for Criminal Justice Reform)
The amount of trauma those in our state have felt this legislative session is massive. I’ve witnessed it, not only from my own experiences — but in others who I love and care for as well. I’m amazed at them all. They keep going. They hurt, but they keep fighting. Like the Honorable Mauree Turner, for example, who continues to walk into a building not safe for them to simply exist in.
We love one another — and we work through the trauma individually and as a collective.
We have no other choice.
But, I do worry though, don’t you?
I worry for my friends.
I worry about the high ACE scores in our state.
I worry for the trans kids who just moved here and are nervous to be outed at some point by this harmful legislation.
I worry about the alarmingly low social statistics.
I worry for my own mental health as I continue to clench my jaw and cry out of anger while writing this at 11:32pm on a Monday.
I worry about the rural 2SLGBTQIA+ kiddos who are afraid to be every bit of who they are because they fear for their lives every day on the playground.
I worry about the numbers of suicide rates amongst our 2SLGBTQIA+ population across the state as pieces of policy like this tell them they aren’t worth fighting for.
Because they’re ALL worth fighting for and I want them to know… there are so many of us fighting for them and we won’t give up. This is our state, too.
Today, Oklahomans are furious. And I know this righteous rage and fury will fuel us all to keep going. Because it always has. Just like it did on April 19th 26 years ago.
And tomorrow, we recommit to the good fight through our love for one another and our home.
But — meanwhile, in Oklahoma, still, we hurt.
I love you, Okies. We’re in this together.